\ 4 Twitter Tips for Business Success
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4 Twitter Tips for Business Success

Twitter is an amazing resource that breaks down the barrier between a small business and consumers. And it helped me launch The Beauty Bean, an online magazine. When I was developing The Beauty Bean, I knew that social media -- especially Twitter -- would be an ideal way to effectively and inexpensively create buzz prior to launch.

So I began promoting our mission (to provide health, beauty, fashion and wellness content in an empowering, confidence-boosting way) on Twitter. I would post health, beauty, wellness, fashion and lifestyle tips throughout the day -- all without the focus on dieting or weight loss. Although we started with a small following, women instantly responded to what I was posting. With a few lucky retweets from celebrities (most notably Serena Williams at first) and organic buzz, we were able to launch The Beauty Bean with a significant number of followers already engaged in our mission.

1. Engage the most influential Twitter users.

The engagement of tweeters with large followings is essential. They don’t have to be celebrities, but they have to be influential -- even if it’s just within their own small communities. I think the tweet from Serena Williams was paramount to our initial success -- as any big celebrity endorsement would have been -- but if I were to do it over again, I would try to connect even more of our tweets to influencers within smaller communities. Sure, an A-list celebrity has millions of followers, but it’s unclear how influential he or she is over any of these followers (and how many of the followers actually even see the tweet). The captain of a local football team, though, might have a very engaged fan base, even if it’s only a few hundred. So I would try to find these smaller influencers who are approached by brands less often (if at all) and are more likely to have a large return.

2. Vary your content and goals in Twitter posts.

Twitter continues to drive a lot of traffic for us, especially when we cover people or brands with large followings and they retweet the post. There is no such thing as the best tweets, but the best Twitter feeds are those that know their audience and provide the right content for that specific audience in the best way possible. For us, this means varying the design of our tweets throughout the day in order to appeal to our fitness fans at one time and to our fashion fans at another.

Similarly, we vary the goals of our tweets as well. Some of our posts, for example, are solely designed to garner new fans, while others aim to drive traffic back to TheBeautyBean.com. So, I guess my biggest tip would be to know your audience and work for it.

3. Update Twitter more often.

Twitter has grown tremendously -- for better or for worse. On the one hand, your ability to garner fans increases. But on the other hand, you have to work much harder to really engage them. No longer are people following you because they really want to see every last tweet from you. Instead, some of your fans will also be following thousands of other timelines, meaning they’re considerably less likely to read every word you type. I think we all need to grow with Twitter. For us that means tweeting more often throughout the day.

4. Ignore negative Twitter comments.

I have one other piece of advice for small businesses using Twitter: Don’t engage with people writing negative comments. So often I see brands replying to criticism in their timelines, whereas if the brand had never replied I would have never even seen the bad comment. Unless you have 100-percent solid proof that a comment is inaccurate, replying only shows all your fans the criticism. Reply in a direct message, or just let it go.

Copyright (c) 2011 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

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